Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About Passage to India - Bethesda
Passage to India serves a great selection of Indian food in an elegant decor, reminiscent of the dining rooms of the Maharajahs. Chef Sudhir Seth introduced the concept of Regional Cuisines of the Indian subcontinent and showcases food from all over India with local ingredients and home blended spices. The restaurant is located Bethesda's restaurant row, just 3 blocks from the Bethesda metro (Red Line).
Bethesda, MD 20814
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Daily: 11:30am - 2:30pm;
Dinner: 5:30pm - 9.30pm (Sunday through Thursday)
5:30pm - 10.30pm (Friday & Saturday)
Old Georgetown Road (Route 187)
$30 and under
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
Passage to India - Bethesda Ratings and Reviews
We frequently dine at Passage to India because the food is excellentand authentic (with several Indian regions represented). Service is always attentive. Best of all, even when the restaurant is full, you can have a conversation with your tablemates without screaming.
As lovers of Indian food, we had been to Passage to India once almost two years ago and were underwhelmed, so we were surprised when another couple of friend of ours pushed for a double date there. We have never been so happy to be proved wrong!
We basically followed all of the suggestions of our waiter, ordered one entree from every region on the menu, and split everything. It was phenomenal. Flavorful, interesting, and oh-so-perfect for a cold winter evening. Even the garlic naan — something you'd expect to taste roughly the same at most Indian restaurants — was particularly excellent. We will definitely be back!
Food is brought too fast. You feel like you are being hurried through the meal even though no one was waiting for a table. We had not finished our appetizers and the main entrees were there. The servers whisked our appetizer plates away and instructed us to use the "big plates to finish the appetizer".
The food is hit or miss. Overall its decent food but not the best.
Always wonderful service and great food
I love the fact that’s it’s good for conversation and get together for any occasion .. but mostly for quietly spending time w friends or business lunch ..
always esthetics of white glove service w white table cloth...& great food wins me and keeps me coming back !
Food was better last time. Not so much this time. There were four of us- we ordered four dishes, and two appetizers- plenty of food but most of it was just mediocre. We had been there before and had an excellent meal but not this time. There are so many good Indian restaurants and this was such a disappointment this time.
I had family travel here for Thanksgiving and needed a good place to eat. For some of my family, they were eating Indian food for the second time. For others, they were long-time Indian food lovers.
Our headcount kept changing, which is painful for us and for any restaurant we were dealing with. Passage to India's waiters did a great job of organizing, re-organizing and eventually moving us to accommodate surprise new guests. We started out with a table for 8 and eventually wound up with a table for 12. The waiters accommodated us with grace.
The food was pleasing, and managed to span a range of mild to spicy. Many Indian restaurants have great difficulty creating dishes mild enough for my wife's palate. And yet, for the first time in living memory, she praised a navratan korma as being truly mild and great-tasting.
In the future, we will both return to Passage to India to dine in as well as order take-out.
The maitre d' / waiter was surprised that we had a reservation - he said that he couldn’t find it. He seated us and then again came back to check if I really had the reservation. I showed him the open table confirmation and then he went back to check on it. We were made to wait at our table until he could satisfy himself that we indeed had a reservation. He confirmed that we did have a reservation when he came to serve us water.
Food was way too Americanized and not authentically Indian.
Ambience is reasonable but gets cancelled out due to the extremely close seating and loud conversations from the larger parties.
Our waitress was friendly and efficient, but the waiters were grumpy and had an air of indifference about them.
In my opinion, there is no Bethesda restaurant that has better ambiance than Passage to India. One notices the calming music as soon as one enters. The tables are covered with white table cloths, the chairs are upholstered, the carpeting is plush, the walls are covered with framed prints of Indian figures, and the windows are partial covered with decorative Indian screens. There is no buffet table so there is not a constant movement of people. The servers move quietly and efficiently and don't strike up a conversation unless one initiates one. This atmosphere is conducive to lowered voices. The food is varied and consistently very good. I particularly like the vegetarian dishes and the Sali Boti, a lamb dish that is accompanied by a crisp green salad and a small bowl of lentils. The flavors are more complex than those in most other Indian restaurants. The list of wines by the glass is small, but well chosen and reasonably priced at $8.95. I avoid the coffee here, but the herbal tea is a wonderful end to a meal.
Food seemed a little on the pretentious side ... taste wise was fine . Definitely not authentic Indian - ( despite the geographic referrences to the items on the menu ) But yes , it sits well on your pallete .
Definitely needs to improve on service - impatient and brusque waiters .
I like Indian food and feel this restaurant really captures the authenticity of Indain food. I ordered the Scallops, but unfortunately, they were VERY SALTY. The service is always pleasant and quick. I'll try another entree next time. Will be back. I'm sure it was just an off day.
Using a Groupon, I revisited this restaurant, but the ambience was poor. LOUD inside, waitstaff placed couples NEXT to each other, when there were open available seats farther apart. Noise level too high and food is only so -so. Had to flag waiter down a few times to refill water, wanted to order a lentil side but was told it comes on the table - it did not.
We were also NOT told that there was an 'upcharge' for white meat chicken.
We left disappointed and probably won't be back.
I love this restaurant. The taste of the dishes was amazing from the starters to the main courses. What I like about Passage of India is that the spice in the dishes is layered and fragrant so you don’t just get a hit of heat as in other Indian restaurants. The food is far superior and more authentic than Rasika which is more about style over substance. As ever the staff were very courteous and service was excellent.
We love Indian food and have eaten it in the U.S. and abroad. This was one of the best -- tandoori dishes were cooked perfectly, veggie dishes were seasoned and spiced just right. We dined on a Saturday night and once a table turned over, it didn't stay empty for long. Highly recommend.
The food is overrated by Bethesda Magazine, The Washingtonian and others. I've traveled throughout India and eat it often here and while some items (Tandoori Crab) were great, some basic Indian dishes like Cauliflower and potatoes with a turmeric seasoning were very disappointing - but expensive for a vegetarian entree. Worst or all, the butter chicken had a $1 surcharge for white meat - even though the total price for dinner for 2 with 1 beer was ~$100!
For me, the refined decor is one of the draws. It is not only visually appealing, it encourages speaking in low voices. The food is the quality of that one finds in very good restaurants in the major cities of India. The salli boti, a lamb stew that I had on this occasion, was very good bot in terms of the quality of the ingredients and the preparation. Each entree is accompanied by a fresh salad, a dish of flavorful lentils, and white rice. While the list of wines by the glass is short, it is well chosen and reasonably priced. The service is attentive, but not intrusive.
A nice blend of regional specialties, in a pleasant atmosphere. Attentive service, but not at all overbearing. A lovely place---much nicer than some of the pricier (and pretentious) DC popular Indian spots, especially for the atmosphere and diversity of regional cuisines.
The food was delicious and staff were attentive. The decor of the place had a nice old world vibe, but the decor screens along the windows were dirty and needed to be updated. Some of the menus also needed to be replaced as they were worn down and torn in some areas.
Good, not great, but good. They staff was extremely friendly and helpful. The food was quite variable in taste and quality - we found the butter chicken fantastic, the paneer a bit bland and the vindaloo too hot (although, I should have asked to have it toned down a bit for my taste) - even though the lamb was quite tender. The pakoras were quite tasty, the lentil soup fantastic and the nan kind of tasteless. The price was typical Bethesda pricing (read into that as you will).
As an aside, they were very accomodating of a messy toddler! I think we will go back again, and take into account the above when selecting dishes.
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